PayTel - Not Receiving What I Paid For
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA -- In the past two days, I have deposited $80 into a PayTel account. For that $80, I have received significantly less than the amount of talk time listed on the PayTel website. I am aware of the fees involved for using this service. I accounted for those fees in the deposits I have made.
I deposited $40 the first time and received three reasonably short phone calls before I received a call from PayTel explaining that my number had been blocked until I deposited more money. Last night, I deposited another $40 (they charged an additional $3, which I expected). With that $40, I received one phone call which lasted 14 minutes, and then I received a call from PayTel explaining to me that my balance was low and I had to deposit more money.
$40 for a 14-minute phone call is so far beyond reasonable that I can't even fathom. This company offers a service, and then takes advantage of the people using it. They know how important those phone calls are, and they know we will keep depositing money in order to hear that voice at the other end of the line. There is no reason why it should cost more to place a phone call from inside a detention center than it does from outside the center. This is unreasonable, and designed to inflict even more hardship on families and friends who are already experiencing difficult times.
This is absolutely shameful business practice.
Company Response on 2/7/2013:
We regret your frustration concerning the rates for your collect calls. If you will provide your phone number with area code, we will be happy to check your account to make sure you are being charged the correct rate.
We are a certificated carrier in every state where we provide service and the rates we charge are regulated in most states. In all states we charge rates that are equal or below the rates charged for the same call through the local telephone company. The cost of calls from confinement facilities are more expensive because of the increased controls required by law enforcement.
We regret your frustration and will be happy to assist you directly if you will send an e-mail with your information to firstname.lastname@example.org.